In what would be the latest setback in the Xbox maker’s road to completing the deal, the EU is set to issue a charge sheet known as “a statement of objections” setting out its concerns about the deal, according to Reuters.
It’s claimed that Microsoft was expected to offer remedies to EU regulators in an attempt to avert a statement of charge and shorten the regulatory process. However, it’s claimed the EU is not open to remedies without first sending out its charge sheet.
The EU antitrust watchdog previously set an April 11 deadline for its decision on the deal.
Microsoft said in a statement issued to Reuters: “We’re continuing to work with the European Commission to address any marketplace concerns. Our goal is to bring more games to more people, and this deal will further that goal.”
In December, the US Federal Trade Commission announced plans to file a lawsuit in a bid to stop Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision, which it argues would enable the company to “suppress competitors” to its Xbox consoles and its subscription content and cloud gaming business.
However, it’s possible that both sides could yet agree to concessions before the trial. On January 3, Microsoft noted that both EU and UK regulators had not blocked the deal, and that it expected a decision within the next few months.
Earlier this month, the US body claimed that there had been no “substantive” settlement talks. If it goes to trial, the case will be judged Michael Chappell during hearings set to take place in August 2023.